Kansas State Wildcats

Getty Images

Rimington watch list details list of returning centers

1 Comment

It’s the dead time of the college football calendar, which means it’s time for this sport’s oldest, most antiquated tradition: watch lists.

First one in line is the Rimington Trophy, given to the best center in college football. And to help voters narrow down their choice for when voting picks up six months from now, the Rimington has helpfully provided this watch list of essentially every returning starting center in college football.

The 2017 list includes (deep breath):

– Aaron Mitchell, Fresno State
– Alan Knott, South Carolina
– Alac Eberle, Florida State
– Antonyo Woods, Florida Atlantic
– Asotui Eli, Hawaii
– Austin Doan, Central Michigan
– Austin Golson, Auburn
– Austin Schlottmann, TCU
– Billy Price, Ohio State
– Blaise Fountain, New Mexico
– Brad Lundblade, Oklahoma State
– Brad North, Northwestern
– Bradley Bozeman, Alabama
– Brendan Moore, Maryland
– Brian Allen, Michigan State
– Bryce Holland, Army
– Cameron Ruff, South Florida
– Chandler Miller, Tulsa
– Coleman Shelton, Washington
– Colton Prater, Texas A&M
– Danny Godloveske, Miami (Ohio)
– Dennis Edwards, Western Kentucky
– Drew Keyser, Memphis
– Erick Wren, Oklahoma
– Evan Brown, SMU
– Frank Ragnow, Arkansas
– Gabe Mobley, Georgia State
– Garrett McGhin, East Carolina
– Jake Bennett, Colorado State
– Jake Hanson, Oregon
– Jake Pruehs, Ohio
– James Daniels, Iowa
– James O’Hagan, Buffalo
– Jesse Burkett, Stanford
– John Keenoy, Western Michigan
– Jon Baker, Boston College
– Julian Good-Jones, Iowa State
– Keoni Taylor, San Jose State
– LaVonne Gauthney, Akron
– Levi Brown, Marshall
– Luke Shively, Northern Illinois
– Mason Hampton, Boise State
– Matt Hennessy, Temple
– Mesa Ribordy, Kansas
– Michael Deiter, Wisconsin
– Nathan Puthoff, Kent State
– Nick Allegretti, Illinois
– Nick Clarke, Old Dominion
– Reid Najvar, Kansas State
– Ryan Anderson, Wake Forest
– Sam Mustipher, Notre Dame
– Scott Quessenberry, UCLA
– Sean Krepsz, Nevada
– Sean Rawlings, Ole Miss
– Sumner Houston, Oregon State
– T.J. McCoy, Florida
– Tanner Thrift, Baylor
– Tejan Koroma, BYU
– Tim McAullife, Bowling Green
– Trey Martin, Rice
– Will Clapp, LSU
– Will Noble, Houston
– Zach Shackelford, Texas

Exhale.

Got all that?

Ohio State’s Pat Elflein claimed the honor last season.

Big 12 coaches for some reason unconcerned about Draft drought

Getty Images
9 Comments

As I’m sure you’re aware by now, the Big 12 produced only 14 picks in last weekend’s NFL Draft. The league’s coaches have heard about it, and they say (on the record, at least) that they’re not concerned about it and, frankly, they’re tired of talking about it.

“You have cycles. You have waves,” Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury told ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg. “We’re obviously down when it comes to top, top prospects. We have good players, but maybe not the elite level that some of the other leagues have. I don’t think it’s panic mode yet.”

Added West Virginia’s Dana Holgorsen: “I don’t think there’s anything to worry about. I’m a little tired of [the media] making it a big deal.”

And TCU’s Gary Patterson: “I don’t go out and recruit saying, ‘This guy, the only reason I’m going to take him is he fits the NFL model.'”

While it’s true that the Big 12 coaches’ jobs is to find players that win games first, second and third and find players the NFL may one day like somewhere around sixth or seventh, it’s impossible to NFL’s tepid interest in Big 12 players as anything other than another problematic data point in a disturbing ongoing trend for this once proud conference.

It’d be easy to ignore last weekend’s NFL Draft if the Big 12 didn’t also produce a then-low 17 picks in 2014.

It’d be easy to ignore last weekend’s NFL Draft if the Big 12 wasn’t also consistently behind its peers in signing top 250 recruits.

It’d be easy to ignore last weekend’s NFL Draft if the Big 12 wasn’t also the only Power 5 conference to miss the College Football Playoff twice in three years.

Bottom line: the Draft is another data point proving the Big 12 is suffering through a significant down period right now. There’s nothing saying that can’t change. Tom Herman and Matt Rhule succeeding at Texas and Baylor, respectively, would go a long way toward lifting the conference out of the ditch it currently finds itself in, as would winning high-profile non-conference games like Oklahoma at Ohio State and TCU at Arkansas. More than anything else, though, the conference’s fortunes won’t turn until its coaches find a way to recruit a large influx of talented players. The NFL Draft is the best arbiter of judging who has the most talent, as Herman himself admitted in the piece that the NFL will go wherever it has to go to find talent. And it hasn’t been going to Big 12 campuses as much as it used to.

Big 12 football is down right now and last weekend was another low point in a period full of them for this conference. Believing otherwise is as intellectually dishonest as believing Big 12 coaches wouldn’t turn around and thump their collective chests if the league started producing SEC-like draft numbers.

 

Kansas State officially announces Iowa’s Gene Taylor as new AD

Getty Images
Leave a comment

After several weeks of searching, Kansas State has a new athletic director.

The Wildcats confirmed reports on Friday that the school has hired Gene Taylor to be the new AD, replacing John Currie after he left for the same position at his alma mater of Tennessee.

“My family and I are truly honored and thrilled to join the K-State family,” Taylor said in a statement. “I would like to commend Amy Button Renz and the committee for conducting what I believe was the most professional and detailed search I have ever been a part of, while also being extremely appreciative to President Myers for his leadership and confidence in my ability to lead this athletics department at such an outstanding institution. I also would like to thank Laird Veatch for his time as Interim Athletics Director, and I know people think highly of him and his service to K-State.

“We are excited to get to Manhattan, and I look forward to meeting our student-athletes, coaches, staff and supporters and helping them build upon the across-the-board success that K-State has attained.”

Taylor heads to Manhattan after serving the past three years at Iowa as the Hawkeyes’ deputy athletics director.

While 58-year-old played a vital role at Iowa the past few seasons, he is most well-known for helping turn North Dakota State into a powerhouse at the FCS level.

K-State hires one defensive coach, promotes another

Getty Images
Leave a comment

An offseason of adjustments to Bill Snyder‘s Kansas State coaching staff continues, this time on the defensive side of the ball.

K-State announced late Tuesday morning that Snyder has hired Jon Fabris as his defensive ends coach.  This will serve as Fabris’ second stint in Manhattan as he spent the 1997 and 1998 seasons with Snyder’s Wildcats.

“Jon is a quality person, dedicated husband and father as well as a dedicated leader and teacher of young men,” Snyder said in a statement. “He has a proven record here at Kansas State. He will again be an asset to our defense and to Sean with our special teams. I’m pleased to have him back with us.”

Fabris fills the hole created by the departure of Mike Cox, who left last month as K-State’s linebackers coach to spend more time with his family.

In addition to Fabris’ hiring, the football program also announced that Blake Seiler will take over as linebackers coach.  Seiler was also promoted to co-defensive coordinator in what likely completes the shuffling of Snyder’s 2017 staff.

In mid-February, Del Miller announced he was stepping down as the Wildcats’ quarterbacks coach/co-offensive coordinator.  One day later, former K-State quarterback Collin Klein was announced as Miller’s replacement.

Bill Snyder back to work at Kansas State after undergoing cancer treatment

Getty Images
1 Comment

To absolutely nobody’s surprise, ‘The Wizard’ is back at work and sticking to his routine.

Kansas State football coach Bill Snyder was diagnosed with throat cancer earlier this year but told reporters on Tuesday that he has completed treatment and is returning to guide the Wildcats through spring practice.

“I’m finished with all the treatments, just kind of going through the after-effects now. Then you get tested again down the road, a few months,” Snyder said, according to the Associated Press. “I think the hardest part is the after-effects that come with it. That’s what we’re going through right now. But millions of people have done it.”

Snyder, 77, is set to begin his 26th season in Manhattan as head coach of KSU and seems to show no signs of stopping anytime soon despite the recent health scare. The Wildcats are set to make some noise in the Big 12 this season with the bulk of last year’s nine-win team back and a favorable schedule throughout 2017.

Kansas State has already begun practice and are set to hold their spring game on April 22. Luckily for the team (and all college football fans), the familiar sight of Snyder roaming the sidelines in his windbreaker will continue for the foreseeable future after Tuesday’s announcement that the long time coach has wrapped up his cancer treatment.